Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Lost and forgotten streets of Manchester ......... nu 56 Reyner Street the one no one goes down

Now strictly speaking there will be a few people who might take a trip down this very narrow street which runs from Princess Street to Charlotte Street but I suspect they will be confined to bin men and the odd curious tourist.

Reyner Street off Princess Street, 1925
It just visible in this 1925 picture between the white building and the back of the Queen's Hotel.

And this street is very narrow.

Today it runs along the back of buildings, but go back a century and a bit and there were plenty of back to back houses which faced on to it.

I looked but couldn’t find a picture of the street in the collection and even that wonderful store of images from Manchester Libraries didn’t seem to have one.

The Queen's Hotel, 1904
So instead I have wandered just to the corner of Portand Street and Princess Street and to this building which backed on to Reyner Street.

It was from the middle of the 19th century a beer shop and later morphed into a full blown pub known variously as the Three Legs of Man and the Queen's Hotel.

And as the Queen’s Hotel it made it into the 20the century offering its gable end to any one of of a number of advertisers.

The billboard from 1904 offers up a mix of products still around today but with some that have long gone along with a notice for the Palace Theatre.

In the fullness of time I will go looking for when the Queen’s pulled its lasts pint and shouted last orders for the final time.

The former Queens's Hotel, 1973
I only remember the building as a newsagents but that sign announcing that it was owned by the Portland Book Shop Ltd intrigues me and I wonder if they were also the owners of that much bigger shop at the top of Oxford Street facing St Peter’s Square which also traded I think traded under the same name.

On a slow day studying in Central Ref it offered a welcome diversion, and for a while it seems to have moved down Oxford Road.

Of course I may have got this bit very wrong and no doubt will be corrected.

All of which just leaves me to reflect that I must have sat in the cafe beside the newsagents on Portland Street at some time in the 1970s.

Not that I even knew that running behind both buildings was Reyner Street which I suppose means that it was as lost to me then as it is to many others.

Location; Manchester

Pictures; Portland Street, Princess Street corner, E. G. Phipson, 1925, m04868, T. Baddeley, 1904, m04857, and H. Milligan, 1973, m05349, 
courtesy of Manchester Libraries, Information and Archives, Manchester City Council, http://images.manchester.gov.uk/index.php?session=pass

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